When you are issued a parking, photo enforcement, or minor moving violation ticket in the District of Columbia, you have three options, according to DC law: pay it, admit with an explanation, or contest it.
Payment must be in US dollars or with a credit card issued by a US bank.
Pay a Ticket
If you are going to contest a ticket, do not pay the fine or penalty. Once a ticket is paid, you are no longer able to contest it. If you are not going to contest a ticket, you must pay the fine noted on your ticket within 30 calendar days from the date the ticket was issued, in the case of parking tickets, or mailed, in the case of photo enforcement tickets. You can pay online, by mail, in-person, or by phone at (866) 893-5023. If you mail your payment, DC DMV must receive it within the legally established timeframe of 30 calendar days; therefore, you should mail the ticket payment at least one week prior to the due date. If DC DMV does not receive the ticket fine payment within 30 calendar days from the date the ticket was issued (or mailed), a penalty will be assessed. The penalty is the same amount as the ticket fine, meaning your ticket payment will double.
Please note that if you pay a ticket by credit card and subsequently reverse your payment, you will not be notified by DC DMV. The notice of infraction will be processed as if no payment had been received. This may cause a default judgment to be entered against you resulting in your license or driving privileges being suspended for a moving violation and the ticket being sent to collections for all violations. Subsequently, you will not be able to process any future payments with a credit or debit card.
DC DMV encourages you to pay your tickets online. You can pay the following types of tickets online (note you must use Internet Explorer 9 or newer, Chrome or Firefox to access the online payment page):
Have your ticket number and credit card information available when you pay online. For online ticket payments, DC government accepts:
- American Express
Installment Payment Plan
You may pay your Installment Payment Plan online using the link below. In person payments can be made only at 1101 4th St., SW.
To pay your ticket by mail, do NOT send cash. You must mail a check or money order, payable to the DC Treasurer, and write the ticket number in the memo line of your check or money order. If you do not have your ticket, write the ticketed vehicle’s state and tag number on your check or money order (for example: MD license tag #123456).
If you have more than one outstanding ticket, and do not provide the ticket number, the payment will be applied to the oldest ticket first, so it is important to include the ticket number with your payment. Additionally, the ticket payment must be received by DC DMV within 30 calendar days of the date the ticket was issued, in the case of parking tickets, or mailed, in the case of photo enforcement tickets. To prevent your ticket fine from doubling, mail your payment at least one week prior to the due date.
Mail your payment for parking, photo enforcement, or minor moving violation tickets to:
PO Box 2014
Washington, DC 20013
You can pay your ticket in person at the Adjudication Services Office. Click on the link below for location and hours:
Bring your ticket with you, and go directly to the Information Desk.
If you cannot bring your ticket with you, you will need to get a printout of your ticket. Show your ID to the person at the Information Desk to request a printout. You will be issued a number; when your number is called by the person at the cashier’s desk, you go there to pay the ticket.
You may pay by cash, check, money order, or credit card. For in-person ticket payments, DC Government accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
If you are paying with anything other than cash, you must present a valid driver license, DMV-issued ID, passport, or military ID.
You can call (866) 893-5023 to pay tickets by phone.
Paying for a Booted or Towed Vehicle
If your car or vehicle has been booted, pay your tickets to get the boot released. (See the information above under Pay a Ticket.) DC DMV will not accept a check as payment for the release of booted or towed vehicles.
If your car has been towed, you can get more information by calling 311.
You can go directly to the impound lot if your car has been towed and pay there online with a credit/debit card.
NOTE: DC DMV does not boot, tow, or impound vehicles. These are DC DPW functions. Therefore, for more details, visit DC DPW’s website, at the link below.